|Publication number||US8127009 B2|
|Application number||US 11/427,959|
|Publication date||Feb 28, 2012|
|Filing date||Jun 30, 2006|
|Priority date||Jun 30, 2006|
|Also published as||CA2655620A1, CA2655620C, EP2036349A2, EP2036349B1, EP2036349B8, US20080005326, WO2008005791A2, WO2008005791A3|
|Publication number||11427959, 427959, US 8127009 B2, US 8127009B2, US-B2-8127009, US8127009 B2, US8127009B2|
|Inventors||Howard G. Pinder, Henry Lilly, III, David A. Sedacca, Michael A. Gaul|
|Original Assignee||Pinder Howard G, Lilly Iii Henry, Sedacca David A, Gaul Michael A|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (14), Non-Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (6), Classifications (19), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present disclosure is related to renewable conditional access in a Set-top Terminal (STT). More specifically, the present disclosure is related to providing conditional access in any of a plurality of formats.
Users of a media network, such as a cable network have access to a plurality of programming options. Depending on the particular arrangement between the user and a network operator, the user may purchase various programming channels and options. A set-top terminal (STT) may be utilized to communicate with the media network to provide programming and options that the user has purchased. As the network operator generally tries to prevent unauthorized access to unpurchased channels and options, the STT may be configured with various authentication and/or encryption capabilities. As a nonlimiting example, many STTs may be configured with a secure processor, which may act as a physically secure environment for facilitating access to the purchased channels and options.
While historically, the secure processor has been configured with conditional access logic that is unchangeable subsequent to manufacture, many STTs are now being configured with one or more secure processors that are configured to receive conditional access logic updates and/or different conditional access logic from the logic currently stored. When such changes are made to the secure processor, however, other components, such as a host may also have logic that communicates with secure processor. As various components of the conditional access logic in the secure processor have changed, logic in the host may also change in order to communicate with the new conditional access logic. Since updating the host may involve knowledge of the new conditional access logic, as well as the capabilities of the particular system utilizing the new conditional access logic, many problems can arise in utilizing the new conditional access logic in this manner.
More specifically, at least one current approach includes host software and one or more secure processor client designed for a specific network and conditional access. This approach may reduce ability to produce a “generic” set-top box that can be configured to operate on an arbitrary network. One solution to this dilemma has been to divide set-top functionality between two separable modules. However, this solution can be more expensive because interface hardware and software are generally connected to these separable modules.
Generally speaking, there may be three components in a set-top terminal that may be network-specific: the code inside the secure processor, non-time-critical host code (which may be utilized for configuring network access, and/or other advanced features), and time-critical host code, which can be configured to communicate with the secure processor to obtain the control words necessary to decrypt content streams in real time. All of these elements may be part of the conditional access system (CAS) code on the host device. Downloading network-specific or CAS-specific host logic may not be desired. Since there are many different possible host platforms, each CAS provider would need to write code tailored to each specific host, which is in the general case intractable. One current solution involves an interpreter (such as a JAVA interpreter), and the network-specific portions can be written in JAVA or some other agreed-upon host-independent language. This solution may not be suitable for time-critical functions, however.
Thus, a heretofore unaddressed need exists in the industry to address the aforementioned deficiencies and inadequacies.
Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present disclosure. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views. While several embodiments are described in connection with these drawings, there is no intent to limit the disclosure to the embodiment or embodiments disclosed herein. On the contrary, the intent is to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents.
Media network 100 can be configured to provide programming signals as digitally formatted signals in addition to delivering analog programming signals. Further, media network 100 can also be configured to support one-way broadcast services as well as both one-way data services and two-way media and data services. The two-way operation of media network 100 can allow for user interactivity with services, such as Pay-Per-View programming, Near Video-On-Demand (NVOD) programming according to any of several NVOD implementation methods, View-On-Demand (VOD) programming (according to any of several known VOD implementation methods), and interactive applications, such as Internet connections and Interactive Media Guide (IMG) applications, among others.
Media network 100 may also be configured to provide interfaces, network control, transport control, session control, and servers to access content and services, and may be configured to distribute content and services to STT users from headend 102 via satellite 104 a, PSTN 104 b, and/or Internet 104 c. As shown in
One can appreciate that, although a single headend 102 is illustrated in
STT 114 may also include a data storage infrastructure, such as Random Access Memory (RAM) 228 (which may include Dynamic RAM (DRAM), Video RAM (VRAM), Static RAM (SRAM), and/or other components) and flash memory 226. RAM 228 may include one or more software programs including a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) client 246 for receiving and storing received programming data, a graphics engine 248, a test application 244 and a browser 242. Similarly, flash memory 226 can include test application store 230, a watchTV component 240, and an operating system 232, which may include a resource manager component 238. Some embodiments may also include a hard drive 224.
An encryptor/decryptor component 252 may also be included for facilitating encryption and/or decryption of signals within the STT 114. One should note that while encryptor/decryptor 252 is illustrated as a separate component within STT 114, this is a nonlimiting example, as one or more encryptors and/or decryptors may be associated with a transport processor (not shown), secure processor 208, and/or other component within STT 114.
As one of ordinary skill in the art will realize, while certain components of
STT 114 may also include a host 203 (such as a host processor and/or other components) for performing one or more actions to facilitate conditional access of data received from media network 100. A decoder (not shown) may be included for decoding received data, and a Quadrature Amplitude Modulator (QAM) demodulator 206 for demodulating the received data. A secure processor 208, a tuner system 210, and a digital encoder 212 may also be included. Secure processor 208 may be viewed as a physically secure environment, such that physical access to the inner workings of secure processor are generally unobservable subsequent to manufacture, and may include logic, such as a Conditional Access System (CAS) client 209. CAS client 209 may be configured to provide a user with access to programming and/or options provided by media network 100.
One should note that while various components are illustrated in STT 114, this is a nonlimiting example. As one of ordinary skill in the art will realize, more or fewer components may be included to provide functionality for a particular configuration. Additionally, while the components of STT 114 are arranged in a particular manner, this is also a nonlimiting example, as other configurations are also considered.
As illustrated, the setup process in this particular configuration may include the host 203 sending data to hardware resources 306. As the secure processor in this nonlimiting example may be unchangeable, there is generally no software setup process between the host 203 and secure processor 208 because during manufacture, the host 203 was specifically designed to operate with secure processor 208 and logic included therein. During manufacture, the host can be configured to communicate with secure processor 208 and CAS client 209. As the CAS client does not change, there may be no desire to “setup” software residing on host 203 with secure processor 208.
Additionally, in many current implementations of STT 114, secure processor 208 and/or CAS client 209 may be configured for update and/or change. In many cases, the new logic can be downloaded from media network 100 and/or from other locations to the secure processor 208. However, in order to operate properly, many of these configurations also provide that host 203 also receive logic for communicating with the new logic received at secure processor 208. As the logic received at secure processor 208 may have a specific protocol, the logic at host 203 may be configured according to this specific protocol. While such a configuration can provide flexibility in the logic utilized by secure processor 208, specific host logic may be created for each new version of secure processor logic.
As also illustrated in
One should note that, in at least one embodiment, the host 203 may be configured to communicate with the secure processor 208 at a low hardware level since the details of this level may not be network-specific. In addition, some of the commands sent from the host 208 to the secure processor 208 may be intrinsically network-nonspecific. As such one may expect the host 203 to understand these commands, without relying on downloaded modules. As a nonlimiting example, the commands used to download a new conditional access client to the secure processor 208 is likely not CA-specific. Likewise, in the context of the present disclosure, the commands that the host issues to learn how to adapt itself to the loaded conditional access client would likely also not be CAS-specific.
The subsequently received CAS client may include, among other things, parameters for configuring the generic tools received by the host 203. More specifically, in at least one embodiment, during (or after) manufacture, STT 114 may receive a CAS client 209 at secure processor 208. CAS client 209 may include one or more parameters for configuring any of a plurality of tools that may be located at host 203 (or otherwise on STT 114). During setup, the secure processor 208 can send one or more parameters for configuring the tools on host 203 for the specific CAS client 209 on secure processor 208. Upon completion of the setup process, secure processor 208 and host 203 may send and receive messages for providing conditional access for various programming and/or options to a user of STT 114. Additionally, as discussed with regard to
One should note that while, in the configuration from
Additionally, host 203 can include one or more MPEG section filters 502 that may be configured to receive in-band Entitlement Control Messages (ECM) and/or other conditional access messages. Upon receiving the ECMs and/or other conditional access messages, the MPEG section filter(s) 502 can determine which messages to pass to CAS message Cache 504. In operation, MPEG section filter(s) 502 can, upon receiving a message, determine the start of a message according to a an indication in the MPEG transport packet. The MPEG section filter(s) 502 can additionally utilize a mask and a compare value for determining whether the received message can pass to the CAS Message Cache 504. After determining the offset, the MPEG section filter(s) 502 can apply a mask to the received message. In applying the mask, the MPEG section filter(s) 502 can logically “and” the mask with data in the received massage. The MPEG section filter(s) 502 can then compare this result with a compare value. If the compare value matches the result, the message may pass to the CAS message cache 504. The MPEG section filter(s) 502 can additionally specify a message size, message rate, as well as other data.
As described above, during the setup process of the host 203 with a new CAS client 209, secure processor 208 sends a mask value, an offset value, a mode (pass on match versus drop on match, toggle filter mode, etc.), and/or a compare value to MPEG section filter(s) 502. The MPEG section filter(s) can then utilize this data (as described above) for filtering received messages according to the CAS client 209 being executed on secure processor 208.
Also included in the nonlimiting example of
Additionally, the CAS message cache 504 can be configured to receive messages from CAS client 209. More specifically, depending on the particular configuration, the CAS client 209 can be configured to instruct the CAS message cache 504 to send at least one message stored on CAS message cache 504. The CAS client 209 can also instruct the CAS message cache 504 to delete a message stored on CAS message cache 504.
Also included in host 203 is an incoming message storage component 506. Incoming message storage component 506 can be configured to receive data from an Open Cable Application Platform (OCAP) plug-in for CAS and/or Authorized Service Domain (ASD) application 508. More specifically, OCAP data can be received from media network 100 for automatically updating an Interactive Programming Guide (IPG) for display to a user. More specifically, in at least one embodiment, a different IPG may be utilized depending on the particular media network 100 to which the STT 114 is coupled. As the STT 114 may not be configured to store an IPG for every possible media network 100, upon the STT 114 being coupled to media network 100, the media network 100 can download an IPG to the STT 114. Similarly, depending on the particular configuration, a new message for CAS client 209 may be received from media network 100, via OCAP plug-in 508, and stored at incoming host message storage 506. The CAS client 209 can access messages from message store 506 via Secure Processor (SP) command processor 520. Additionally, new message notify signal can be configured to signal to OCAP plug-in 508 that a message from message store 506 is waiting.
Also included in host 203 is a Transport Scrambling Control (TSC) bit filter 510. TSC filter 510 can be configured to receive the transport scrambling control bits from MPEG transport packets processed by the stream decryptors 512. More specifically, TSC filter can be configured to monitor the state of the TSC bits, record the time the bits change, and from those bits, determine whether a received stream of MPEG transport packets is encrypted. Control word(s) can also be sent from SP command processor 520 to stream decryptor 512 via an encrypted tunnel.
Additionally included in the nonlimiting example of
Host 203 in
Also included in the nonlimiting example of
Upon receiving the abbreviated message from host state collector 518, secure processor 208 can determine whether and when to utilize information related to the event. If secure processor 208 determines that information related to the event is to be utilized, secure processor 208 can contact the relevant component(s) for access to the desired information. The host state collector utilizes abbreviated messages in order to save communications bandwidth between host 203 and CAS client 209.
In a nonlimiting example involving communication of an ECM, host can send a new program notification signal 736 to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can receive this signal and send a host state (new program) signal 738 to secure processor 208. Secure processor 208 can then send a setup ECM section filter 740 to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can then send a setup ECM section filter 742 to MPEG section filter 502. As discussed above, the setup signal for an MPEG section filter can include a mask, offset, compare value, and/or other data. Upon receiving the setup ECM section filter 742, the MPEG section filter 502 can receive one or more ECM signals 744. The MPEG section filter 502 can then filter out ECMs that do not match the criteria sent by the secure processor 208. MPEG section filter 502 can then send the matching ECM signal(s) 746 to CAS message cache 504. CAS message cache 504 can then send a notification signal 748 to host state collector indicating that an ECM was received. The notification signal 748 may also include a time of arrival, an address within CAS message cache 504, and/or other data. The host state collector 518 can then send an abbreviated notification 750, to SP command processor 520, indicating that an event has occurred with the CAS message cache 504. The SP command processor 520 can then send a host state (new message) 752 to secure processor 208 to indicate that an event has occurred. Secure processor 208 can then send a read message 754 to SP command processor 520, which can send a read message 756 to CAS message cache 504. CAS message cache 504 can then send a message including the ECM 758 to SP command processor 520, which can send a message 760 to secure processor 208.
One should note that the arrow 756 may indicate a step that is completed in any of a number of ways. More specifically, in at least one nonlimiting example, this might in fact be completed by passing a message from one module to another and receiving the data as a return message. In other configurations, this can be completed via a simple Application Programming Interface (API) call. Similar configurations can apply to arrows 790, 791, and/or 792.
Upon receiving the message including ECM 760, the secure processor 208 can send a control word (CW) via a tunnel 762 to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can then send the control word via tunnel 764 to stream decryptors (e.g., encryptor/decryptor 252). SP command processor 520 can then send a host state signal 772 indicating no changes to secure processor 208. Secure processor 208 can respond with a null response with a desired time-out 768.
If no other events occur after the time-out has occurred 770, the SP command processor 520 can again send a host state signal 772 indicating that there are no changes. The secure processor 208 can then provide a null response (with desired time-out time) 774 to SP command processor 520. If, on the other hand, an ECM 776 is received at MPEG section filter 502 prior to the time-out, the MPEG section filter 502 can filter out undesired ECMs and send desired ECM(s) 780 to CAS message cache 504. CAS message cache 504 can then send an event notification 782 to host state collector 518, which can send an abbreviated notification to SP command processor 520. SP command processor can send a host state (new message) signal 786 to secure processor 208. Secure processor 208 can respond with a read message signal 788 to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can send a read message signal 790 to CAS message cache 520, which can respond with a message 792 that includes an ECM to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can send the message including ECM 794 to secure processor 208. The secure processor 208 can then send a control word via a tunnel 796 to SP command processor 520. SP command processor 520 can then send the control word via a tunnel 797 to stream decryptors. SP command processor 520 can then send a host state signal 798 indicating no changes since the last event. Secure processor 208 can then send a null response (with desired time-out) 799 to SP command processor. One should note that while
One should note that the flowcharts included herein show the architecture, functionality, and operation of a possible implementation of software. In this regard, each block can be interpreted to represent a module, segment, or portion of code, which comprises one or more executable instructions for implementing the specified logical function(s). It should also be noted that in some alternative implementations, the functions noted in the blocks may occur out of the order. For example, two blocks shown in succession may in fact be executed substantially concurrently or the blocks may sometimes be executed in the reverse order or not at all, depending upon the functionality involved.
One should note that any of the programs listed herein, which can include an ordered listing of executable instructions for implementing logical functions, can be embodied in any computer-readable medium for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device, such as a computer-based system, processor-containing system, or other system that can fetch the instructions from the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device and execute the instructions. In the context of this document, a “computer-readable medium” can be any means that can contain, store, communicate, propagate, or transport the program for use by or in connection with the instruction execution system, apparatus, or device. The computer readable medium can be, for example but not limited to, an electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, or semiconductor system, apparatus, or device. More specific examples (a nonexhaustive list) of the computer-readable medium could include an electrical connection (electronic) having one or more wires, a portable computer diskette (magnetic), a random access memory (RAM) (electronic), a read-only memory (ROM) (electronic), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM or Flash memory) (electronic), an optical fiber (optical), and a portable compact disc read-only memory (CDROM) (optical). In addition, the scope of the certain embodiments of this disclosure can include embodying the functionality described in logic embodied in hardware or software-configured mediums.
One should also note that conditional language, such as, among others, “can,” “could,” “might,” or “may,” unless specifically stated otherwise, or otherwise understood within the context as used, is generally intended to convey that certain embodiments include, while other embodiments do not include, certain features, elements and/or steps. Thus, such conditional language is not generally intended to imply that features, elements and/or steps are in any way required for one or more particular embodiments or that one or more particular embodiments necessarily include logic for deciding, with or without user input or prompting, whether these features, elements and/or steps are included or are to be performed in any particular embodiment.
It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of this disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the disclosure. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure.
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|U.S. Classification||709/225, 725/114, 725/141, 725/127|
|Cooperative Classification||H04N7/162, H04N21/4181, H04N21/6547, H04N7/17318, H04N21/8193, H04N7/1675, H04N21/4586|
|European Classification||H04N7/16E, H04N7/167D, H04N21/418C, H04N21/458U, H04N21/81W4, H04N21/6547, H04N7/173B2|
|Sep 6, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SCIENTIFIC-ATLANTA, INC., GEORGIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PINDER, HOWARD G.;LILLY, III, HENRY;SEDACCA, DAVID A.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:018234/0005;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060821 TO 20060831
Owner name: SCIENTIFIC-ATLANTA, INC., GEORGIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PINDER, HOWARD G.;LILLY, III, HENRY;SEDACCA, DAVID A.;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20060821 TO 20060831;REEL/FRAME:018234/0005
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Owner name: SCIENTIFIC-ATLANTA, LLC, GEORGIA
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